Location: Los Angeles, California

Thursday, September 21, 2006

School for Scoundrels

What a depressing movie. Here's another comedy that insists that mellow, shy, kind guys are "losers" and need to be re-made into more aggressive alpha-males... you know, the type of guys that hit people on the head with a tennis racket, and shoot paintballs at a guy's head, and throw a ball into another man's groin. Those are "real" men.

School for Scoundrels is almost the equivalent of Anger Management, another dreadful movie about an older, wiser man teaching a younger man how to regain his masculinity. School for Scoundrels doesn't have an ending that's as far-fetched; instead, its ending is just a plain ol' ending, and the coda during the credits is just as flat.

And is it now a tradition to have a surprise cameo from the "Frat Pack" show up towards the end of all these films? Wedding Crashers had the Will Ferrell cameo, where the joke was the cameo. Scoundrels has the same type of cameo, and I won't give it away, not that I'd be giving away anything amusing.

But the most depressing thing about School for Scoundrels was the audience I watched it with - 350 college students. They (well, at least all the males in the audience) loved the film. I overheard comments like "Oh damn, he just got bitch-slapped" and "Awesome! Right in the balls!" Perhaps the futuristic prediction made in Idiocracy is not that far off.

Jon Heder (aka Napoleon Dynamite) did a Q&A after the film. He seemed like a nice guy, although you could feel that the majority of the audience was disappointed he wasn't at all like his infamous character. He's got a lot of projects lined up, but they're all comedies. Jon, you really need to get away from the comedies... if you want to ever have a career beyond "Oh, it's the Napoleon Dynamite guy," please find some indie drama to immerse yourself into.

Rating: *1/2 (out of ****)
Opens Sept. 29


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